SEESAC continues to support combating the threat of converted blank fire weapons
SEESAC continued its support to the authorities of North Macedonia and Kosovo* in combating the increasing threat that converted blank fire weapons pose not just to these jurisdictions but the entire Western Balkan and EU.
This support builds on the first Technical Workshop on Converted Weapons held in December 2020 and its recommendations. The workshop brought together representatives of ballistic laboratories and investigators from both jurisdictions and representatives of EUROPOL and SEESAC to jointly address the phenomena of the increased number of seized blank firing weapons and the problem of insufficient and delayed exchange of ballistic information in these cases. Participants also discussed the amendment's impact on the Law on blank firing weapons in Turkey on illicit trafficking and weapons conversion. They expressed an interest in broadening this discussion to other jurisdictions in the region and further discussing more efficient ballistic information exchange methods.
Both workshops are organized in the framework of implementing the European Union Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1788 adopted on 19 November 2018 in support of SEESAC's activities for the implementation of the Regional Roadmap on combating illicit arms trafficking in the Western Balkans. They contributed to our efforts to advance the operational ballistic information-exchange about existing cross-border firearm-related criminality, and thus to the improvement of the strategic picture about the nature and patterns of gun crime.
Workshops on the exchange of the ballistic information also complement and are closely coordinated with the ongoing EU-supported actions in South-East Europe, primarily the EU Policy Cycle for organized and serious international crime and precisely the operational action plans of EMPACT Firearms, as well as the activities of Europol, Frontex, and Interpol.
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).